Business & Economy

UWF accounting students No. 3 in nation in passing CPA Exam

University of West Florida accounting students ranked third in the nation in 2016 for first-time pass rate on the Certified Public Accountant Examination.

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy released its 2016 University Edition of Candidate Performance on the Uniform CPA Examination, and UWF candidates passed sections taken at an 87.1 percent clip.

“Our accounting program has made us very proud,” UWF President Martha Saunders said. “To be ranked in the top three in the country speaks for itself.”

UWF followed only Wake Forest University (89.5 percent) and Northwestern University (88.9) among 858 institutions with a minimum of 10 reported candidates. The nationwide first-time passage rate was 54.4 percent.

“One of the best career builders for an accounting graduate is passing the CPA Exam,” said Dr. Tim O’Keefe, dean of the College of Business. “Passing it the first time you take it puts you in a rare category comparatively. Our students have traditionally done well on the CPA Exam, but the latest ranking is the best yet.”

“It’s a testament to the work ethic of our students, the dedication of our faculty in preparing our students for success and the tremendous support our accounting program receives from area CPA firms and other community partners. It’s certainly a win for our accounting program and all of those who have a part in preparing our students for launching successful careers.”

Dr. Chula King, chair of the UWF Department of Accounting and Finance, said the Department faculty is proud of the students for achieving such a distinction with the third best first-time pass rate. Illinois Institute of Technology placed fourth (85.7 percent) and Northwestern College followed in fifth (85.0). University of Wisconsin-Madison (84.7), University of Florida (84.6), Brigham Young University (84.6), Dordt College (84.1) and Messiah College (83.8) rounded out the top 10.

The UWF Department of Accounting and Finance is a mixture of accounting and finance professors with a wide range of teaching specializations and research interests.

“I am personally grateful for the tremendous dedication and support of the faculty in preparing our students for this significant milestone,” King said. “I am equally grateful for the unwavering support of the College and the University, along with the numerous CPA firms who employ our students.”

For more information about the UWF Department of Accounting and Finance, visit